Interpreting Allergy Test Results: Blood and Skin Tests Explained

Wyndly Care Team
Dedicated to giving everyone incredible care

What do the numbers mean on allergy test results?

The numbers on allergy test results range from 0.00 to 100.00, indicating the level of specific IgE antibodies in your blood. A result above 0.35 is generally considered positive, while higher numbers indicate a stronger allergic reaction. Each allergen is measured individually.

Get started
Wyndly Allergy

Lifelong Allergy Relief from Leading Allergy Experts — You In?


Why Are Allergy Blood Tests Done?

Allergy blood tests are performed to identify the specific allergens causing your allergic reactions. They are a reliable method to detect specific antibodies in the blood, known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE), that react to different allergens.

Types of Allergy Blood Tests

There are two primary types of allergy blood tests: the ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test and the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. The ImmunoCAP test measures the amount of specific IgE antibodies in the blood that are present when you have an allergic reaction. On the other hand, the ELISA test is used to detect antibodies against specific allergens. It's a more sensitive test and can identify multiple allergens at once.

Pros and Cons of Allergy Blood Tests

Allergy blood tests, like the ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test, are convenient and less invasive than skin tests. They are precise and can identify a wide range of allergens. Furthermore, they aren't affected by antihistamines, which can interfere with skin tests. However, they may be more costly than skin tests and take longer to return results. Additionally, blood tests may not be as sensitive as skin tests in identifying certain allergens.

How Is an IgE Blood Test Performed?

The IgE blood test is a straightforward procedure typically performed in a laboratory. A healthcare professional will extract a small blood sample from a vein in your arm using a needle. This sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory measures the concentration of specific IgE antibodies in the blood, revealing your body's reaction to specific allergens.

Side Effects of Allergy Blood Tests

Generally, IgE blood tests are safe with minimal side effects. The most common side effect is slight bruising or soreness at the site of the needle insertion. In rare instances, one may experience lightheadedness or fainting. It's important to note that unlike allergy skin tests, allergy blood tests carry no risk of triggering a severe allergic reaction. For those with skin conditions or on specific medications that interfere with skin testing, an IgE blood test may be the safer alternative.

How to Interpret Allergy Blood Test Results?

Allergy blood test results are typically measured in kU/L (kilo Units per liter). The results range from 0.0 (no sensitivity) to >100 (high sensitivity). Each allergen tested will have its own result. Higher kU/L values indicate a higher sensitivity to the particular allergen.

If the IgE levels for a specific allergen are raised, it suggests that you may be allergic to that substance. However, it's important to remember that these tests merely show whether your immune system responds to an allergen, not whether you will exhibit symptoms upon exposure.

To accurately interpret your results and understand the clinical significance, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional. They can consider these results in the context of your symptoms and medical history. For an easy understanding of the results, Wyndly offers a sample allergy test report that clearly indicates the allergens tested and the degree of sensitivity to each.

What Is an Allergy Skin Test?

An allergy skin test is a diagnostic tool used to identify specific allergens causing allergic reactions. This test is often used to detect allergies to pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold, or food. The procedure involves exposing your skin to potential allergy triggers and observing the reaction. The test usually takes about 20 to 40 minutes, making it a quick and efficient way to find the root of your allergic symptoms.

Understanding the Allergy Skin Test Results Chart

Interpreting your allergy skin test results involves comparing your body's reaction to specific allergens with your reaction to controls. The size of the skin reaction, usually measured in millimeters of the diameter of the wheal (raised bump), indicates your sensitivity to the allergen. Usually, a larger wheal and flare response suggest a greater sensitivity to the allergen.

However, it's important to remember that skin test reactions do not always correlate with the severity of allergy symptoms you may experience when exposed to the allergen in a real-world setting. For a more in-depth understanding, you can refer to Wyndly's guide on how to read and understand your allergy skin test results. Lastly, always consult with a healthcare professional to accurately interpret these results and to develop a personalized treatment plan.

When to Consult an Allergy Specialist?

If you're experiencing persistent symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, or difficulty breathing, it's time to consult an allergy specialist. This is particularly important if over-the-counter (OTC) medications provide little to no relief, or if symptoms are causing significant discomfort or affecting your quality of life.

It's also advisable to see a specialist if you have other health conditions that could be worsened by allergies, such as asthma. An allergy specialist, or allergist, can provide a comprehensive evaluation, conduct skin or blood tests, and recommend a personalized treatment plan.

If you've already taken an at-home allergy test and you're uncertain about the results, it's also a good time to consult an allergy specialist. They'll be able to help you interpret your results and suggest appropriate next steps. For instance, they may guide you on how to read your allergy skin test results or advise on whether further testing, like an allergy patch test, is required. Visiting an allergy specialist isn't just about diagnosing allergies, it's also about managing them effectively to improve your everyday life.

Live Allergy-Free with Wyndly

If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the normal range for an allergy report?

Allergy report results are typically categorized as low, moderate, high, or very high. Low is a count of 0-20 grains per cubic meter of air, moderate is 21-100, high is 101-1000, and very high is over 1000. Levels vary depending on the specific allergen and location.

What does a 2+ mean on an allergy test?

On an allergy test, a 2+ signifies a moderate reaction. This usually indicates a clear, positive reaction to the allergen and is typically accompanied by a raised, red, itchy bump (wheal) on the skin, often surrounded by a flare of redness, about 5-10 millimeters in size.

How to interpret allergy test results?

Allergy test results are typically interpreted by a healthcare professional. A positive result indicates an allergic reaction, but it doesn't necessarily mean you'll experience symptoms. A negative result generally suggests you're not allergic. However, false positives and negatives can occur, requiring further clinical evaluation.

What does 0.10 ku/l mean?

A 0.10 ku/l (kilo units per liter) result on an allergy test typically indicates a very low level of specific IgE antibodies in your blood, suggesting a minimal allergic response. However, it's important to interpret this result in the context of your symptoms and clinical history.

What does 4+ mean in allergy testing?

In allergy testing, the 4+ rating represents a severe reaction to the tested allergen. This scale ranges from 0 (no reaction) to 4+ (severe reaction). A 4+ result means the patient's skin reacted intensely when exposed to a specific allergen during the skin prick test.

How do you determine the severity of an allergy?

The severity of an allergy is determined by the intensity of symptoms and the speed at which they occur after exposure to an allergen. Allergy tests, like skin prick tests or blood tests, can help identify allergen sensitivity and provide an indication of reaction severity.

What IgE level indicates allergy?

An IgE level above 100 IU/mL typically indicates an allergy. However, higher levels don't necessarily mean more severe symptoms. It's also important to remember that IgE levels can vary greatly among individuals, and the presence of specific IgE antibodies is a more accurate indicator of allergen sensitization.

Is Wyndly right for you?

Answer just a few questions and we'll help you find out.

Get Started Today